Medical University of Vienna – Researchers investigate the brain development of foetuses without connection between the right and the left hemisphere
(Vienna, 20-04-2015) So-called corpus callosum agenesis (CCA) occurs in 0.5 per cent of all foetuses where the right and left hemisphere of the brain are not connected. A research group of the Computational Imaging Research-Lab (CIR) at the University Clinic for Radiology and Nuclear Medicine of the Medical University of Vienna has now shown that the hemispheres of the brain reorganize in spite of this “faulty circuit” forming new networks of the nerve tracts in the individual hemispheres which may compensate certain defects.
Andras Jakab from the research group of the Computational Imaging Research-Lab (CIR) which investigates the human foetal brain functions by MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), “Nerve tracts and networks are formed which are very different from those in humans without corpus callosum agenesis.”
The study has now been published in the neurological top journal “NeuroImage” and is the first group study of this kind including 20 foetuses suffering from CCA as well as other malformations. The results provide the scientists with new insights into the functionality of the brain. Jakab “It is another big step towards better understand how the brain works, how it functions and how it organizes itself.” The future goal for clinical practice is to be able to make an even better forecast on the foetal brain development. As Jakab says, “So that we will be able to make better predictions about the future development of the nerve tracts.”
About corpus callosum agenesis
Corpus callosum agenesis (CCA) is characterized by the complete or partial absence of the corpus callosum, the main connection between the two hemispheres of the brain. In case of a partial corpus callosum agenesis, only part of the band is missing. The mechanism leading to CCA has not yet been sufficiently explored . Corpus callosum agenesis is congenital and manifests itself in early childhood.
“Disrupted developmental organization of the structural connectome in fetuses with corpus callosum agenesis.” A. Jakab, G. Kasprian, E. Schwartz, G.M. Gruber, C. Mitter, D. Prayer, V. Schöpf, G. Langs. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016./j.neuroimage.2015.02.038.